Parent Update: Nov. 2, 2017

Thanksgiving and Winter Break Information

As the holiday season approaches, here is some important information about Thanksgiving and winter breaks.

Thanksgiving break begins at 3:15 pm on Friday, Nov. 17. Students may depart after their final commitments that day. Charter buses will leave NMH Saturday, Nov. 18, at 9 am. All dormitories close at noon Saturday, Nov. 18, and reopen Sunday, Nov. 26, at 2 pm. Students will be asked to complete a vacation form by Wednesday, Nov. 15, indicating their departure and return times. Students are expected to return to campus by 7:30 pm on Sunday, Nov. 26. Charter buses will return students to campus Sunday evening, Nov. 26. View the charter bus schedule and fees. Student sign-ups for vacation forms and charter bus reservations will be available online from Friday, Nov. 3, until Wednesday, Nov. 15. You may also schedule your own private transportation.

Winter break begins Thursday, Dec. 14, at 5 pm. Students may leave after their last exam or other commitment. The final exam schedule has been posted. Charter buses will depart NMH on Friday, Dec. 15, at 9 am. Dormitories close on Friday, Dec. 15, at noon and reopen Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 2 pm. Students are expected to return to campus by 7:30 pm on Jan. 3. Please plan accordingly.

The dormitories are closed during Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Even if students are not going home, they must make plans for these vacations, such as staying at the home of a school friend, family friend, or U.S. guardian. For international students, there are several break programs available. (These programs are not sponsored or supervised by NMH.) Interested students and their families need to contact these programs directly to make arrangements.

Deadlines for Yearbook Ads and Senior Portraits

The Gemini, NMH’s yearbook, is underway and the Dec. 1 deadline is approaching for senior photos, senior ads, and (for underclass students) purchasing a yearbook.

Orders: Each senior will get a yearbook free in May on Senior Day. Others may purchase the yearbook for $75 at (enter school code 4557).

Senior ads: Families and friends are invited to purchase and design an ad to congratulate their graduate. The deadline to purchase a page is Dec. 1, the Friday after Thanksgiving break. A school break is a great time to look through old photos of your student as you design these special ads.

Senior portraits for the yearbook are also due Dec. 1. While some students submit a formal photograph, others choose a candid photo. Here are some guidelines for senior photos.

● The student should be the only subject in the photograph.

● Photos must be submitted in .jpg format with at least 300 dpi resolution.

● Photos should be emailed to with the student's name in the subject line as they wish it to be published and their exact quote in the body of the email.

● Yearbook staff are available to photograph students for free in the weeks leading up to the deadline. Students should look for email announcements in November to sign up.

Learn more about senior portraits, senior ads, and how to create an ad here. Please contact Amanda Santos Valenzuela with questions about yearbook purchasing or senior portraits, and contact Kara Walker with questions regarding senior ads.

Uruguayan Student Exchange: Local Host Families Needed

Local NMH families are needed to host Uruguayan students as we welcome them to NMH in February for a five-week language/cultural exchange. We are asking day families to consider hosting an exchange student. During their time at NMH, these students will attend classes, travel to local historically significant sites, and build long-lasting relationships with their host families and new friends at NMH. Please see this letter from Angela Yang-Handy, dean of global, experiential, and community engagement, for details.

As many of you know, Bea Garcia (assistant dean of faculty and Spanish teacher) and her husband Roberto Irurueta (Spanish teacher and assistant director of multicultural affairs) have created a one-of-a-kind, five-week Spanish immersion program for NMH students in their home country of Uruguay. As part of the exchange, we reciprocate by hosting students from Uruguay at NMH. We hope you will consider welcoming one or two of these 15 students into your home Feb. 7–26. For more information or to express interest, please contact Bea Garcia.

Learn more about this cultural exchange.

Study-Abroad Applications Due

Is your family already planning for summer 2018? NMH is, and we have just released details for the study-abroad trips slated to depart next summer to France, Uruguay, China, and Ghana. Applications for these programs are due Nov. 27.

The trips planned for France, Uruguay, and China are all immersion programs and designed for students who want to improve language skills significantly while experiencing a new culture. The trip to Ghana is a dance, drumming, and cultural program that focuses on the performing arts while also delving into topics related to African culture, philosophy, and daily life. (No prior dance or drumming experience is necessary.)

Don’t let your student miss this opportunity to travel and learn in these countries. Please contact Jensi Rovang, study-abroad program coordinator, with questions.

Running for Pie

Join us Monday, Nov. 13, for the 127th annual Bemis-Forslund Pie Race, a 4.3-mile foot race that winds around and through the NMH campus. It ends, for the swiftest runners, with a fresh apple pie baked by NMH workjob students and Dining Services staff.

Alumni, parents, NMH employees, students, and friends are invited to participate. Follow this link to register online. The event is free, and walk-ins are welcome. Sign in at 2 pm at Forslund Gymnasium. The race will start at 3 pm from Forslund, and runners who complete the race within a specified time will win a pie. The Tart Race, for children, begins at 2:30 pm from Forslund. Parents are welcome to participate as runners or spectators in this fun NMH tradition.

Call 413-498-3600, or email, with questions.


Spirit Week: Students celebrated “Spirit Week” Oct. 30–Nov. 4 with daily themes including class color day, Halloween costume day (with trick-or-treating and a study hall break with pizza options), preppy day, “represent your hometown day,” and twin/triplet day.

Athletes of the Week: Congratulations to Emily Houston ’18 of Keene, NH, (girls’ field hockey) and Eli Dibari '19 of Missoula, MT, (boys’ cross-country). Emily will continue playing field hockey next year at Northeastern University. This week, Eli set a new personal record by 37 seconds on his home course. Eli's big performance secured NMH’s 25-30 victory over Choate.

Transition from Fall to Winter Term: Learn what happens when fall semester and winter term overlap. Read more.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood: The performing arts department presents a musical version of Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Because the book was never completed, the musical allows each audience to vote on the ending. The show runs Nov. 9-11; buy tickets online.

One-Act Festival Auditions: Student-directed and student-led performances are coming to NMH in December. Learn more.

Retired teacher’s photos featured at Ellis Island: Photos by recently retired and long-time photography teacher and visual arts department chair, Philip Calabria, are now part of Ellis Island’s permanent collection. An exhibit, The Stilled Passage, is on view there through early January 2018.

Follow HUM II Students Abroad: Our Spain and Morocco trip departs Nov. 2. Check out their visual itinerary and read about their experiences while traveling on their blog.

Like to laugh? Need a stress reliever? Some students fit both categories. NMH recently hosted Laughter Yoga instructor Ida Abdalkhani, who led a session on how to laugh for stress relief and team building.

Schauffler Scholar Series: The Schauffler Library’s Scholar Series provides an opportunity for students to hear about faculty's academic pursuits outside of the classroom. Recent speaker, Chaplain Lee-Ellen Strawn, discussed the empowerment of Korean women in the 20th century.

Upcoming Events

  • 11/2 Spain/Morocco trip departs
  • 11/2 Admission Class Visit Day
  • 11/3 Pops concert
  • 11/3 Head, Heart, Hand: Ojai
  • 11/3 Spirit Club dance-off
  • 11/3 Opening for contemplative garden and labyrinth
  • 11/4 SAT tests
  • 11/4 TronBon (bonfire)
  • 11/5 Head, Heart, Hand: Los Angeles
  • 11/7 Head, Heart, Hand: San Francisco
  • 11/9 Head, Heart, Hand: Silicon Valley
  • 11/9 Athletic banquet
  • 11/9-11/11 Musical: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  • 11/9 Fall Athletic banquet
  • 11/10 Fall term ends
  • 11/11 Admission Open House
  • 11/12 Thanksgiving worship service
  • 11/13 Pie Race
  • 11/13 Spanish orchestra concert
  • 11/14 Admission Class Visit Day
  • 11/17–26 Thanksgiving break
  • 11/18 Charter buses depart
  • 11/18 Upward Bound 50th anniversary gala
  • 11/26 Students return
  • 11/27 Classes resume

A bird's eye view